God's Gift of Music: VOCES8: 'The Twelve' by William Walton, Apollo5, Peter Holder & Barnaby Smith


Video from VOCES8


"VOCES8 and Apollo5 are joined by special guests, with Peter Holder (Organ) to sing William Walton's 'The Twelve' in Keble College Chapel, Oxford. The performance is directed by Barnaby Smith and forms part of the album 'Renewal?' by Paul Smith. ‘Renewal?’ is a concept album, which combines new commissions by Paul Smith and Donna McKevitt with three musical pillars from the 20th Century, by William Walton, John Cage and William Henry Harris. Multifaceted texts by Lal Ded, Edmund Spenser, W.H. Auden, Lord Byron, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou and Edna St Vincent Millay offer space to consider our world, past and present, and meditate on a response to build a better future. Find out more at www.voces8.foundation Filmed at Keble College, Oxford, July, 2021 as part of LIVE From London, Summer 2021 Director: Barnaby Smith Singers: VOCES8, Apollo5 and guests Organ: Peter Holder Audio Producer: Adrian Peacock Engineer: Dave Hinitt VOCES8 Studios team: Tim Vaughan and Aytan Buyukoglu Vido and Audio Editing: Barnaby Smith Executive Producer: Paul Smith

Text: The Twelve – WH Auden I Without arms or charm of culture, Persons of no importance From an unimportant Province, They did as the Spirit bid, Went forth into a joyless world Of swords and rhetoric To bring it joy. When they heard the Word, some demurred, some mocked, some were shocked: but many were stirred and the Word spread. Lives long dead were quickened to life; the sick were healed by the Truth revealed; released into peace from the gin of old sin, men forgot themselves in the glory of the story told by the Twelve. Then the Dark Lord, adored by this world, perceived the threat of the Light to his might. From his throne he spoke to his own. The loud crowd, the sedate engines of State, were moved by his will to kill. It was done. One by one, they were caught, tortured, and slain. II O Lord, my God, Though I forsake thee Forsake me not, But guide me as I walk Through the valley of mistrust, And let the cry of my disbelieving absence Come unto thee, Thou who declared unto Moses: "I shall be there." III Children play about the ancestral graves, for the dead no longer walk. Excellent still in their splendour are the antique statues: but can do neither good nor evil. Beautiful still are the starry heavens: but our fate is not written there. Holy still is speech, but there is no sacred tongue: the Truth may be told in all. Twelve as the winds and the months are those who taught us these things: envisaging each in an oval glory, let us praise them all with a merry noise." from video introduction. #extraordinarygod


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